“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free and civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes”. Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813.
Since September of last year I have published multiple articles in opposition to North Carolina’s constitutional amendment (Amendment 1) that would make marriage between one man and one woman the only domestic legal union that would be valid or recognized by the state. These articles detail:
- the overtly religious underpinnings of the amendment,
- the debunking of the many unfounded fears and falsehoods that have been issued regarding same sex marriage,
- the Religious Right’s assault on our First Amendment’s Establishment Clause,
- the false claim of America being founded as a Christian nation,
- how politicians on the right have been manipulating bigotry for political gain,
- why the bible should not be considered an infallible source upon which to base law,
- our own history showing the folly of placing a minority’s rights to a vote, and
- how the amendment reinforces bigotry and false beliefs about the LGBT community when this minority is already more likely than any other in this country to be victimized by violent hate crime.
As the voting date for the amendment is approaching, I put together a compilation of this work in the hopes that it could be useful. For those who wish, feel free to disseminate articles of interest through your social networking tools or other means.
“A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some.” US Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. The article explores the overtly religious underpinnings of the amendment as well as our own history showing the folly of putting a minority’s rights to a vote.
Politicians on the political right continue to pursue multiple areas of policy despite the well-documented, often substantial, and unnecessary loss of American lives associated with those policies. Although not exclusively dedicated to LGBT rights, a section describes NC’s Amendment 1 lending credence to the many unfounded fears and falsehoods about the LGBT community that contributes to lost lives either directly through acts of violence or by suicide following unrelenting bullying and ostracization.
With the Tea Party and the Christian Right rapidly losing ground in public opinion, Republican Politicians have to walk a fine line in motivating an important element of their base without alienating the middle. But when prominent politicians, for political purposes, lend their support to a summit backed by entities whose lies and language foster hate crimes against a segment of our citizenry, it is time to call them out. By their stature and mere presence, these politicians have given sanction to bigotry and assistance to persecution thus betraying their duty in governance.
In defending their tax policies that largely benefit the wealthiest, Republican leadership claims that it is protecting our ‘job creators’. However, Republican legislators certainly paid no heed to dozens of job creating CEOs who expressed their opposition to discriminatory legislation that could only negatively affect economic growth and job creation. Although Tea Party elected officials may say that their focus is on smaller government, recent research has shown that the rank and file of that movement are more concerned about social conservatism, especially a desire to see religion play a prominent role in government.
The NC Constitutional Amendment that would prohibit same-sex unions is more than a civil rights matter. It represents nothing short of an assault by the Religious Right on one of our most cherished founding liberties, that of religious freedom through the separation of church and state by our First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. This article further explores the false claim that America was founded as a Christian Nation, and examines whether the Bible should be considered an infallible source upon which to base law.
Regarding the proposed NC Consitutional Amendment that would ban same sex marriage, the following statement by the NC Senate Deputy President Pro Tempore, a physician, was published in the press: “We need to reach out to them [homosexuals] and get them to change their lifestyle back to the one we accept”. I issued a response to him with copy to multiple legislators in the General Assembly.
A proposed amendment to the NC state constitution banning same-sex marriage is coming before a special legislative session. When the religious objections are removed, as is required in civil matters, what is left is simply hatred borne of ignorance and political manipulation